Henna, natural ingredients

Is Black Henna any close to Natural Henna?

picnic-2271272_1920Natural henna dye is prepared from the plant Lawsonia inermis. It’s been used to dye skin, hair, nails as well as fabric since ancient times. On the contrary black henna is a misleading marketing name derived from mix of indigo plant and synthetic chemical dye such as p-Phenylenediamine (PPD). Black henna is popular for temporary tattoos and permanent hair colour.

Natural henna leaf is difficult to stain on its own. The leaves are dried and finely powdered and made paste with water, lemon or strong tea. The paste is left for several hours to release lawson molecule. This henna paste when applied on skin or hair and left for few hours, leaves a reddish orange stain. This is a completely natural process to dye hair and skin, with a very low probability of any skin allergy or reaction.

Black henna may contain unlisted chemicals. Most commonly used chemical is p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) which gives a very quick black stain on skin and hair. PPD can cause severe allergic reaction and potentially sensitize skin. In USA, FDA specifically forbids PPD to be used for this purpose, and may prosecute those who produce black henna. Artists who injure clients with black henna in the U.S. may be sued for damages. In Europe, any product containing PPD must be labelled “For professional use only. This product can cause severe allergic reactions. Read and follow instructions. This product is not intended for use on persons under the age of 16. Temporary ‘black henna’ tattoos may increase the risk of allergy. Eyelashes shall not be coloured if the consumer: — has a rash on the face or sensitive, irritated and damaged scalp, — has experienced any reaction after colouring hair or eyelashes, — has experienced a reaction to a temporary ‘black henna’ tattoo in the past. Rinse eyes immediately if product comes into contact with them. Contains phenylenediamines. Wear suitable gloves.”

Recently, natural henna is becoming more commercially available as a safe alternative to chemical dye. LUSH Henna is one natural henna hair dye which can be used as a safe option over black henna or synthetic hair dye.

Temporary tattoos containing PPD is very popular during summer time or holidays. This is used by people of all age group resulting in severe lifelong allergic reaction. The British Skin Foundation has launched #AVOIDBLACKHENNA campaign as summer months approach.

Dr Flower says that everyone should be suspicious of black “tattoos”.”Real henna is never black, but is orange-brown,” he explains. “Any very dark temporary tattoo should be treated with caution.”

Lisa Bickerstaffe at the British Skin Foundation agrees. “Check the colour if a product is described as ‘henna’,” she says. “Henna is an orange-red colour, so if you are offered a temporary tattoo with ‘black henna’, it isn’t actually true henna. If in doubt, stay away.”

Both Flower and Bickerstaffe advise reading the list of ingredients. Avoid the product if it lists PPD or paraphenylenediamine. But even this is no guarantee of safety, as the ingredient list might not be accurate or comprehensive.

Cosmetic Packaging

Eco-Friendly Cosmetic Packaging

Eco-friendly cosmetic packaging is the new emerging trend for the industry. Many brands are committing and pledging for a completely recyclable and eco-friendly cosmetics packaging solution.

Recyclable Cosmetics Packaging:  

There is a major interest in green and recyclable packaging among innovators and manufacturers. Green packaging solution will be effecting the decision of consumers. Big brands in cosmetic industry are making it possible for a completely sustainable packaging. Recently P&G announced that Head & Shoulders shampoo brand will produce the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from up to 25% recycled beach plastic. Unilever will be applying its new technology of recycling of plastic sachet waste. This will help to reduce ocean plastic waste, landfills and litters. It is also committing by 2025, all its cosmetic packaging will be recycled and reused.

Sustainable Packaging Solution:

Refillable cosmetic packaging could be one solution for sustainable packaging. Increasing container efficiency to release maximum cosmetic from the packaging could be considered. Simple packaging with less complicated accessories and easy to renew or recycle can help in long run. Reducing packaging weight can help in reduced shipping weight.

A modern consumer is aware of many benefits of organic green cosmetics, not tested on animal. Eco-friendly cosmetic packaging is taking one step further because we want to use a sustainable cosmetic in a eco-friendly packaging.


Dangers of “Preservative free Cosmetic”

Preservatives play important role in making sure that the cosmetics are free from harmful microorganisms. The formulators of cosmetic make sure that cosmetic products are developed to be placed in contact with human skin as safe as possible.

Why cosmetics get contaminated with microorganisms

There are several ways in which cosmetic get contaminated with bacteria and fungus. It is important to understand how microorganism get into cosmetics and become harmful to consumers. For example, every day we apply lipstick on our lips. The tube of lipstick comes in contact with the saliva in our mouth. Mascara brush applied to eye lashes, comes in contact with mucous membrane in our eyes. There are many potential ways cosmetics get contaminated as

  1. products used after expiry date
  2. stored in warm and humid conditions
  3. poor preservative system
  4. dipping fingers in cosmetics or in contact with saliva or mucous membrane

At present, governing body like FDA, EU Regulations, NICNAS, ASEAN etc. which regulates the limit of preservatives in cosmetics. This ensure the safe level of preservatives to human skin.

Let’s not follow the trend of buying everything “free-from” cosmetics! We are getting obsessed with the idea of “free from parabens”, “free from alcohol”, “free from PEG”, “free from formaldehyde”, “free from preservatives” etc. Let’s believe in safe cosmetics which has a decent to long shelf life with the help of effective preservative system.

Skin Care

Skin Care for Digital Lifestyle!

A modern day holiday is all about sun, sea and selfie! It is all part of our digital lifestyle. To achieve that ‘perfect selfie’ consumers are exploring another level of camera ready make up. More and more people following make up trends which gives assurance for a perfect selfie!

For that perfect look in our smart phone camera, what should be our skin care regime? what makes a ‘perfect selfie’ face? Lets go through some easy and ‘back to basic’ skin care step which maximizes the efficacy of make up products on your face as well as in digital world!

  1. Toner – cleansing is important but never forget to tone your skin after cleansing as it will minimize pore size, tighten skin and promote hydration which ultimately give a polished look of base foundation.
  2. Exfoliation – A clean scrubbed face is much more appealing on camera than a face with dead skin and debris. A gently exfoliated skin will always give you a smooth finish of your make up.
  3. Hydration– Now, this step will not be achieved after applying a normal moisturizer. Since make up applied on face can last up to 12-14 hours it is very crucial to apply a good layer of nourishing cream. This will give your make up a natural glow. A day cream before make up with SPF 15 should be fine. After removing all the make up, it is important to rejuvenate skin with serums, anti-aging and hydrating cream. Overnight hydration will help skin relax and getting ready for next day.



Advantages of Turmeric Cream

Turmeric – A medicinal spice!

Can you think of an Indian curry without turmeric in it ? Well, turmeric is widely used as a spice in India and can be found in every kitchen. However, people today are realizing its great medicinal benefits and it is also been recognized more than a spice which can be relegated to the kitchen rack. This yellow spice is a wonder product packed with loads of benefits. For years it has been used to make the skin and hair healthy due to its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. And the best thing about this product of nature is that it is easily available

Turmeric powder can be used it in many ways by either applying it directly or mixing it with various ingredients. Apart from improving skin complexion, its antiseptic characteristic is perfect for minor cuts, burns and wounds. Scientific findings have also proved that turmeric protects skin from harmful pollutants. Beauty professionals all over the world are now realizing turmeric’s amazing powers and are using it as an important ingredient in beauty products.

Turmeric cream by VICCO Laboratories!

In India, Vicco Laboratories has been at the forefront of creating turmeric based products for skin and dental care. The company has manufactured an array of cosmetics in which turmeric is a major ingredient along with sandalwood oil. Vicco’s turmeric cream protects the skin from harmful UV rays, removes blemishes and makes the skin soft and bright. Since turmeric is antiseptic, the cream can also be used to reduce acne and cure burns as well as cuts. The turmeric based herbal skin cream has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties hence it can be used not just as a beauty aid but also for minor skin disorders.

One product, VICCO Turmeric WSO cream has similar properties but comes without sandalwood oil. Both the products are reasonably priced and can be ordered online too. These turmeric creams are made from nature’s goodness that heals, replenishes and revitalizes the skin.

So if you wish to have clear glowing skin without using any chemical products then try Vicco’s Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream. It’s effective and also affordable.

natural ingredients, Policosanol

Policosanol: Potential Adjunct in Anti-Acne formulations

Policosanol is a mixture of higher aliphatic alcohols extracted from plants such as sugarcane(saccharum officinarum) or yams or from beeswax. It is produced, promoted and researched extensively in Cuba. The extract appears as off white to yellow powder


Policosanol Chemical Composition –

The highest percentage of alcohol present in policosanol is 1-octacosanol, 1-dotriacontanol, 1-tetracosanol, 1-tetratria-contanol, 1-hexacosanol, 1-heptacosanol and 1-nonacosanol.

Policosanol : Cosmeceutical application

  • Topical application controls sebum level of skin and scalp.
  • Natural anti microbial ingredient in anti acne formulations
  • Increases blood circulation of skin and liven up the blood cell
  • Effective in some skin diseases and inflammations like eczema,acne,skin allergy etc.
  • Promotes hydration and softening of skin
  • New patented solvent free extraction process has low environment impact.

Policosanol: How it is effective in controlling acne?

  • When excessive secretion of sebum by sebaceous glands , alteration in sebaceous ducts occurs leading to their blockage.
  • Further encourages proliferation and accumulation of bacterium propionibacterium acnes.
  • Human sebaceous gland can synthesize cholestrol from acetate and metabolize to steroids into potent androgens. Acne is known to be an androgenic skin disorders. There for agents that beneficially effects cholestrol metabolism may have a potential role in management of acne.
  • Policosanol is found to inhibit cholestrol biosynthesis and favorably influence sebum level in the skin.

Plicosanol: Formulation and preparation

Policosanol is recommended for oily skin as it provides all the sebum control benefit. The O/W and W/O formulations for oily skin and acne prone skin.

It is oil soluble at raised temperature, so it must be added in the oil phase of the emulsion. It contains mixture of higher fatty alcohols, so it has a high melting point and may increase viscosity of O/W preparation specially lotions.

Formula with Policosanol as an active ingredient

Phase A

  1. Decyl Oleate)-5.7%
  2. Ethylhexyl Stearate)-6.5%
  3. Glyceryl Stearate-0.5%
  4. Stearic Acid-0.5%
  5. Policosanol-0.5

Phase B

  1. Cetearyl Glucoside-1.0%
  2. Creatine-0.5%
  3. Glycerin-3.0%
  4. Water-80.1%

Phase C

  1. Carbomer-0.2%
  2. Ethylhexyl Stearate-0.8%

Phase D

  1. NaOH (10%)-0.7%
  2. Preservative, parfum-q.s.

Preparation of Policosanol lotion

  • · Heat phase A and B separately to approx. 80°C.
  • · Add phase B to phase A without stirring.
  • · Homogenize.
  • · Cool with gentle stirring to approx. 60°C and add phase C.
  • · Homogenize for a short time (20s).
  • · Cool with gentle stirring and add phase D below 40°C.

Sugar cane Plant
Sugar cane Plant


Policosanol is known to support cardiovascular health and wellness.As a cosmeceutical, Policosanol is an effective natural approach in modulating sebum levels in the skin and scalp, a natural antimicrobial adjunct in anti-acne formulations, and a non-animal derived emollient – a potential substitute for wool-derived lanolin in cosmetic formulations.

Source: sabinsa

Phase A

(Decyl Oleate)


Ethylhexyl Stearate)


(Glyceryl Stearate


Stearic Acid




Phase B

Cetearyl Glucoside








Phase C



Ethylhexyl Stearate


Phase D

NaOH (10%)


Preservative, parfum


Filaggrin, skin protein

Filaggrin:An Essential Protective Protein of skin

Filaggrin: Definition Of This Protein

Filaggrins are filaments associated proteins which bind to keratin fibres in epidermal cells. It is derived from keratohyalin granules, as are other keratinaceous proteins. These are essential protein in the horny layer of the skin. It plays key role of impaired skin barrier function in the development of atopic diseases.

Filaggrin: How it is formed.

The keratinocytes in stratum granulosum are characterized by keratohyalin granules containing abundant quantities of profilaggrin and loricrin proteins. The precursor of filaggrin is profilaggrin,which contains many filaggrin chains joined by tyrosine rich linker regions,it is highly phosphorylated on the serine residue. Each repeating unit of profilaggrin is processed to filaggrin, all phosphates are removed and the linker regions cleaved. After the keratin is aggregated by filaggrin, the arginine of filaggrin is converted to the uncharged citrulline, thereby dissociating it from the keratin. Then it is digested by proteolytic enzyme to the natural moisturizing factor.

Filaggrin: Important functions

Filaggrin is key protein that facilitates the terminal differentiation of the epidermis and formation of the skin barrier. It’s a protective barrier that keeps moisture in and infectious organisms out.

Filaggrin helps aggregate or stack the keratin fibres and is ultimately degraded in the upper layers to form amino acids, pyrrolidone, carboxylic acid and lactic acid in the startum corneum. These products are thought to function as natural moisturizing factor.

Filaggrin:Diseases Due To Deficiency Or Mutation

Individuals with truncation mutation in the gene coding for filaggrin are strongly predisposed to a severe form of dry skin ichthyosis vulgaris. About 1 in 500 people carry two defective copies of the gene. These people make no filaggrin and so suffer from this severe persistent disease, ichthyosis vulgaris.

It has beens shown that almost 50% of all severe cases of eczema may have atleast one mutated filaggrin gene.

The barrier defect seen in filaggrin null carriers also appears to lead to increased asthama susceptibility and exacerbations because the defective barrier may well allow continual presentation of antigens and allergens to the immune system via the skin . This lead to asthma in some cases. Asthma result may be surprising since filaggrin is not present in the respiratory tract but appears to be of importance in the skin only . A weakened skin barrier function might enable allergens to penetrate more easily and thereby promote the development of allergies. So lack of filaggrin plays a decisive role in the origins of allergies.

Variation in filaggrin gene which raise to develop atopic dermatitis more than threefold. In addition these genetic variations predispose to hay fever in those with atopic dermatitis.

About 10% of the population carry a single defective copy and have dry and flaky skin. Impairment of skin barrier function leads to epidermal water loss and leading to dry skin condition. Even cases of allergies such as reaction to nickel which is often found in costume jewelery.

Steps To Be Taken Along This Pathway:

Although most genetic studies have focused on immunological mechanisms, a primary epithelial barrier defect has been anticipated . while gene targeted therapy may not be available anytime soon. The next thing to do is to examine the metabolic pathway of this important protein in addition, to clarify which molecular mechanisms play a role at the genetic level but also concerning the protein itself then final aim ofcourse is to find out a therapy patient with atopic diseases.

And the last thing to say is if lack of filaggrin is such an important factor in allergic diseases, it would be almost conceivable to increase the production of this protein.

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natural ingredients

To What Extent Your Cosmetic is Natural?

If one accepts the meaning of natural as having a source in nature rather than being synthesized in a factory, then the animal, mineral & vegetable fats, oils & waxes, gums, sugar, mineral such as talc, kaolin, bentonite, hectorite, fuller’s earth, sulphur & mica, pearl essence, starches, rubber latex, placenta related extracts perhaps even alcohol derived by natural fermentation of carbohydrates & concentrates are all naturals.

The other synonym used for natural is organic, from a chemist point of view consider a substance organic if it is a carbon compound. Then all the oils, fats & waxes, emulsifiers, gums, polyols & their ether & esters, fragrance, soluble colorants etc. are organic. Then even most of the creams, lotions & oils are organic.

Most of the women believes that, natural or to some extent even organic is real, meaningful term when it comes to beauty products. But that’s not true – not yet anyway.

A natural product should be free from ” parabens, synthetic preservative, sulphates, animal products or any thing with suspected potential human health risk”.

Natural product should contain minimum of 95% natural ingredients.

In any case, natural certification shouldn’t be confused with safety testing (plenty of natural ingredient aren’t safe)